Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bianco dello Stella at 700 Drayton Restaurant-Savannah, Georgia

The Mansion on Forsyth Park has a fabulous restaurant located inside called 700 Drayton. This is the same location of the cooking class that the wives had on Friday morning of the AIPPM (paper meeting).

The husbands hadn't gotten to enjoy any food other than at the hotel, so we headed to the mansion Saturday for lunch.

This is the exact table where we were seated. The Tynes, Meredith, and Don and I enjoyed a low country menu with foods such as crab cakes, rock lobster chowder, street fish tacos, and shrimp with grits.

With our meal we chose a bottle of 2010 Bianco dello Stella ($15) by Grandi & Gabana. It is a blend of 60% Friulano and 40% Malvasia Istriana. The waitress said it's like a Sauvignon Blanc and she was on spot. We loved it! This wine is a blend of freshness and full flavor. Bright yellow color with soft green hints. Lively floral fragrance with delicate hints of ripe fruit. An almond character becomes quite prominent and is very delightful. Don't miss it. Use a medium sized, tuple shaped glass with a slight inward closing on the rim.

Forsyth Park Fountain built in 1858

What a beautiful city to visit! More to come about Savannah in one more blog!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Savannah-A First for Both of Us! Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, a Kessler Collection by Raymond Vineyards

The Westin Resort and Spa in Savannah

Don and I had never been to Savannah, Georgia until this past March when we headed to another paper meeting. I love paper meetings. It's a chance for me to have a vacation, spa visits, stroll around an unknown area, sleep late, and tour with the wonderful wives of the paper guys attending the meetings. We only see each other twice a year, but it's fun when we all get together. 

 Savannah is a beautiful, old city with a pedestrian friendly layout and innovative urban design. The city inspires visitors with its emerald tree canopy, quaint cobblestone streets, and majestic architecture. You must wander off the beaten path to experience the historical beauty and charm of this coastal city. I'm sure it's beautiful in the spring when all the azaleas are in full bloom bursting into an explosion of color.

 Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy when we were there, but that didn't stop us one bit! The wives had a cooking school Friday morning that unforgettable.

This is Peter Russo, Executive Chef of the 700 Kitchen Cooking School located behind the Mansion on Forsyth Park. 

Here Peter is explaining how to thicken a roux.

Beginning to cook our fabulous recipes; eating it all afterwards!

He's emailing us all the recipes soon! I'll include them in another blog.
Here's the wine they served with this Low Country Meal!

2013 Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 
Kessler Collection by Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena, CA. 

The Kessler Collection, a portfolio of artistically inspired boutique hotels and restaurants exudes elegance and comfort in every detail, complemented by personalized service and magnificent dining. Jean-Charles Boisset, the proprietor of Raymond Vineyards, has an undeniable passion for producing extraordinary wines. The Kessler family collaborated with Jean-Charles to create a wine to enhance the dining experience in many hotels/restaurants around the country.

This is a beautiful place one must experience while in Savannah. More to come in the next blog about Savannah and its two special places to wine and dine!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon

If you haven't tried a great Cabernet Sauvignon because you think you can't find one that's inexpensive, you need to try this one! Don and I were strolling through Eat-Zi's one evening and picked up this bottle of wine to bring home with our dinner (we were also purchasing). Neither of us had tasted this wine or heard of it before. The back of the label was enough information for us to make the purchase.

In 1964 Louis P. Martini, son of Napa pioneer Louis M. Martini, purchased 178 acres of land in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley. The Martini family developed this land into a vineyard which they named Ghost Pines as a tribute to the native grey pines which at dusk appear to hover, solitary and ghostlike throughout the coastal valley.

Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon draw from multiple wine growing counties to create a wine as unique as the Ghost Pine itself. Layers of blackberry and dark cherry complement rich roasted vanilla, Asian spice and a nutty smoke character all surrounded by firm, integrated tannins.

After checking around for pricing of this wine, seems like you can pick up a bottle of it for $20 or less in some places. I saw it on sale for $15 on the Wine Buyer's website.


 Crafted with grapes from two appelations create a bold and intense flavor-65% Sonoma County and 35% Napa County grapes.

92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Sirah, and 2% Cabernet Franc


Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Boutique Winery #FidelitasWines-Faithful, Loyal, True

A Boutique Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon with a big, bold flavor is what my hubby loves and he has won me over for some time now. He's always pleased when I ask for red over white. Thanks to him my palate has changed somewhat slowly to match his when choosing a bottle of wine for the evening meal. You know if you've been following me that we love to go to the club on Wednesday nights for half price bottle night. Aaron Benson, the club sommelier, is there to tempt our tastebuds with a new bottle of wine that we've never had before. What's the fun in having the same wine over and over again?! 

Fidelitas Wines tasting room is located in Benton City, Washington in the Red Mountain in the smallest recognized AVA in Washington. Fideltas is a family-owned winery led by owner and winemaker, Charles Hoppes who is committed to creating wines in the traditional Bordeaux style. 

The Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons an excellent collaboration between grower and winemaker. With some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Washington state, this is a deeply concentrated and complex wine with tons of dark fruit and a lasting finish.

2009 Fidelitas Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($70) is a highly rated wine given a 92 by Wine Spectator for that vintage year. It is said to be one of the most popular wines from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, known to have some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Washington State.

Fideltas is faithful to Bordeaux grape varieties, loyal to modern craft winemaking techniques, and true to Washington State's Red Mountain terroir.

We loved it! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Our Favorite Go-To Place! Second Floor Bistro-Galleria Dallas

Second Floor Bistro is a fabulous bar/bistro that shares its name with the Westin Hotel Galleria Dallas. We find everything we need there to sink our teeth into for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Owner and chef partner, Scott Gottlich has some amazing foods on the menu you'll want to return for again and again. We love stopping by after shopping in the Galleria for wine and appetizers or for lunch while watching a game of football or whatever happens to be on the screens. We had checked into having our rehearsal dinner there, but it was a busy football weekend and they couldn't accommodate us.

Last time we were there, we tried two different white wines. 

2012 Silver Peak Chardonnay ($12) Like the fabled prospectors of years past, their winemaker seeks hidden treasures in California's finest growing regions. In Sonoma County, they searched the hills and valleys for vineyards that could provide an exceptional wine like this Chardonnay, with an expansive nose and citrus, pineapple and mango flavors. This wine complements your favorite appetizers, seafood and chicken dishes.

2012 Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Blanc, Mendocino Special Cuvee ($35). Elizabeth and Spencer began drinking wine together in 1992, making wine together in 1997, established the winery in 1998, and began selling wines together in 2000. Their wines are fabulous. I've had the Chardonnay and Rose' and they're wonderful. 

 Enjoy Elizabeth Spencer Wines!